Workplace bullying: massive damages ordered against employer

The Supreme Court of Victoria has awarded $625,000 in damages for a psychiatric injury held to have been caused by an employer failing to have appropriate policies and procedures to manage bullying and harassment in the workplace. The cause of action was negligence. In Wearne v State of Victoria (2017) VSC 25 a worker who was employed […]

Company directors protected from bullying under the Fair Work Act

The anti-bullying jurisdiction of the Fair Work Act enables the Fair Work Commission to issue anti-bullying orders where it is satisfied that a “worker” is being bullied at work. The Act defines who is a “worker” very broadly, by drawing upon the definition of that term in the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Commonwealth). […]

Discrimination, harassment and bullying in the workplace

Discrimination occurs where someone is treated less favourably than another employee or employees due to a particular protected attribute, for example age sex or political conviction. This does not require a level of aggression, although sometimes that is implicit. There are many acts of discrimination, for example not being treated fairly in pursuit of a promotion […]

When to issue a stop bullying order and when to not

The distinction between circumstances in the workplace which might support a stop bullying order by the Fair Work Commission and the ordinary grind of the implications of a clash of personalities in the workplace is starkly on show in the following passages from a recent decision by the Fair Work Commission to not  issue a […]

Workplace bullying: when a stop order will be made

Workplace bullying; the Fair Work Commission’s jurisdiction The Fair Work Commission’s jurisdiction to issue orders to stop and prevent workplace bullying is not, at least according to the number of decisions which are used by the Commission very much availed upon. Here though is a succinct summary of it. “The Commission’s assessment of allegations of […]

Workplace bullying: what is available to help?

The anti-bullying jurisdiction of the Fair Work Commission, introduced in January 2010 with the major amendments to workplace relations system by Prime Minister Rudd and Minister Gillard, is predicated upon the issue of orders to prevent on-going bullying. The Commission’s anti-bullying panel of members does not have the power to order compensation for bullying. That […]

Workplace bullying and the Fair Work Commission

What follows is an extract from a recent decision of the Fair Work Commission which admirably explains the Commission’s  anti-bullying at work jurisdiction and powers. “Commissioner Wilson in Katherine (Kate) Burbeck v Alice Springs Town Council; Georgina Davison; Skye Price; Clare Fisher [[2017] FWC 4988] helpfully identified the relevant consideration involved in determining an application for an […]

Workplace bullying: what is it?

What is workplace bullying in Australia? What follows is a summary of what constitutes actionable workplace bullying under the Fair Work Act, and is extracted from a decision of a Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission. “S.789FD of the Act sets out the test for establishing whether a person has been bullied at work. […]

Workplace bullying: a summary of the role of the Fair Work Commission

The following extract from a decision of the Fair Work Commission, delivered in a claim by an employee who complained to being bullied at work, constitutes a  comprehensive summary of the anti-workplace bullying jurisdiction of the Fair Work Commission. “An applicant for an order from the Commission to stop bullying under s.789FC of the FW […]